Riding Atlantis Dunes

My brother-in-law, Angus,  is based in Cape Town and yesterday he headed out to Atlantis on his Honda CRF450 for a delightful if exhausting ride. Got the WhatsApp message and pics this morning:

Howzit !

Ok the info on the trip yesterday is as follows: From Table View took the 4×4 trails to Atlantis. Some of it thick sand with twisty corners and some of it rocky disused train service roads…

As I was riding with a 25 L fuel tank, half full nog al, I had no need for my usual fill up and Coke stop at the local Engen in Atlantis Industrial. I jumped on the R304 for a couple km then turned right for the link road to the N7. Flowers galore along this route as well… A quick spurt up the N7 for about 1km then a left towards the settlement of Chatsworth.

There is a 4×4 service road that takes you along the boundary of the Riverlands Nature area. The farms out that way are looking stunning this time of year what with green rolling hills, distant mountains and a mix of canola flowers, wheat and spring flowers. A spectacle of colours!! One eventually joins the R315 at Mamre Road then a short spurt on the tar brings you to another dirt road that crosses to the Village of Mamre.

Flowers galore en route to Atlantis. Western Cape. South Africa
Flowers galore en route to Atlantis. Western Cape. South Africa

I had toyed with the idea of getting a Coke at one of the little take away spaza shops but being on my own I decided against it and just kept moving through the streets, watching the Garmin to see which roads took me out to the Atlantis sand trails. Once in the sand I had to adjust the Honda CRF450’s tyres down to 0,5 bar to be able to keep track in the relentless sand. This was the extreme part of the ride and I neared exhaustion on one climb that I spun out 5m before the top. Our rule is to cut the engine and go down and start again. Its a moerse process turning a 450 around on a 45 degree “beach”. I had to work it bit by bit and after a couple attempts and rests I got it around and slid down the hill.

The 2nd attempt was a great success with what I call “some change to spare at the top”. This means you get to the top with enough momentum that one has to tap off the gas. Dune riding can be extremely dangerous if one crests the top of a climb at pace. Next second you can be 10m in the air. After the sand run it was time for some liquid. A quick stop over at a spaza shop which was “closed” but the guys were more than happy to sell me a Coke and some Doritos … I sat on the pavement and watched the Atlantis goings on, enjoying my snack and the vibe. I still had fuel so all I did at the Engen was pop my tyres back up to 1bar pressure …

The CRF450 looking good amongst the wild flowers. Western Cape. South Africa
The CRF450 looking good amongst the wild flowers. Western Cape. South Africa

Eskom lines, train lines, secret trails and one eventually gets back to Table View.

I came across some 4×4 enthusiasts who had got themselves stuck on the railway line. Not a good place … Anyway I showed them how a bike can ramp a train line then watched as the Toyotas worked together to free their stuck pal. Success!

Another short blast on the tar and I was home. This time of year we need to spray the bikes down with Doom to kill all the ticks that end up all over us …

Shower , beer and braai and by 8:30 I was fast asleep. 

Best. Angus

Many thanks for the Ride Report Angus

Bruce Houghting

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